The other day we were driving down the road and Emily shouts out, “That’s a cool car!”
This is what she was talking about:
Now, be honest. Your first thought when you saw this car wasn’t “cool”, was it? In fact, I would dare say you automatically made assumptions about the person driving this car. Their income level maybe? Where they might live? Their education? Maybe even their race or gender? You wouldn’t be alone.
My daughter went on to say, “I love the pretty colors, and how the stickers on the window look like beautiful rainbows!”
I don’t know if you can tell since I blurred out part of it, but folks, that’s a NEW license plate tag. Someone JUST bought this car!
So, how do we know this isn’t someone with plenty of money that chooses not to spend it on something that could be lost in an instant due to someone else’s negligence? How do we know that this isn’t someone going through Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University working hard to pay off their debts with gazelle intensity. Maybe they bought this car with CASH instead of taking on more debt. Maybe this person doesn’t have a $300, $400, $500 or more a month car payment, but instead is using that money to give to those in need.
Do you feel differently about the person driving that car now?
When does our perspective change. When do we go from being the kid who thinks that car is cool to the grownup with entitlement that thinks we deserve nothing less than a brand new, latest model car?
I think there are many reasons for this shift in thinking and I can’t put all the blame on just one, but a big contributor to this line of thinking is the media. Advertising. They are starting with the KIDS. Just watch this commercial and pay attention to this kid’s attitude.
Did you notice his sense of entitlement? His feelings of gratitude (or lack thereof) toward his parents? Since when does a young child get to determine what car his parents drive? Imagine this kid 10 years from now and how demanding he will be about his own first car. You think he’ll be thankful to drive an old family hand-me-down?
When I was in high school, my first car was a 3rd time hand-me-down. I wish I had a picture of it, but let me paint one for you. It was about 10 years old and the shocks were long gone. If I went over a bump in the road, the car bounced for the next 100 yards. It was brown. All brown. My friends at school lovingly made fun of it. Yet, they were all plenty happy to catch a ride in it. It got me to school and back without having to walk. It had been in a wreck so one of the tires was tilted and wore out faster than the rest. The power steering went out on it. At one point, someone even tried to steal it from our driveway, but they only got a couple houses down the alley before giving up and leaving it there. I guess they wanted something with power steering!
Let’s put our perspective in check. Let’s not make assumptions about people based on the car they drive, or the house they live in. We don’t know their financial situation and what choices they are making. Maybe they *choose* to live on less so they can give more. Or maybe they are in need and we should live on less so we can give them more.